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This period feels like running the last lap

Posted 19th January 2011
Watts Contemporary Gallery


This period feels like running the last lap. The finishing line is in sight, but there have been too many delays, set backs and changes to believe that it really is possible that we will complete the building work in a few weeks' time. Blenheim House Construction, the contractor working on the site, continues to be committed to completing despite the delays caused by the snow in December and now the heavy rains. The commissioning process is beginning and every day the Curator is now measuring the temperatures in the Galleries. The display cabinet purchased from Kew, is being restored and re-erected in the Sculpture Gallery. The Curator's and Curatorial Fellow's house have benefited from a deep clean and are sealed off awaiting final inspection by the architects. So near, but so far!

This week we had our quarterly meeting with volunteers and it was impressive to see over 100 people in Compton Village Hall who were coming to hear about the plans for re-opening and to refresh their knowledge of the Hope project. I cannot believe that even though we have been closed since September 2008, nearly two and half years ago, we still have such a fantastic army of supporters and well wishers. We could not have come this far without them.

A great occasion was the new year tea party for the people of Compton held in The Tea Shop on 2 January. We had 40 Compton residents with us and everyone seemed to be enjoying cake and tea courtesy of the Compton Village Association. Thank you to the helpers who washed up endless cups and saucers and to Emma Palmer and Val Goddard, the Tea Shop managers, who made it all possible.

It was very heartening to receive some financial support from The Crescent Trust to support the role of Curatorial Fellow. Support for these core roles makes such a difference.

I hope so much that my next blog will tell you about the Watts Gallery site post contractor - but who knows. Thank you all for your patience, interest and support.